W-B Mom Accused Of Leaving Baby Alone In Car
WILKES-BARRE — A city woman left her 20-month-old daughter unattended in a car outside of a local hospital for an hour and a half Thursday morning, according to police.
Knessa Hope Nimmo, 33, of 268 Andover St., is facing child endangerment charges after police say a passer-by who heard the toddler crying alone in a parking garage stepped in to help.
According to a police affidavit, officers were dispatched to Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre at 25 Church St. shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday to a report of a 20-month-old baby who had been left unattended in a vehicle.
The caller, Maria Mahoney, told police she had parked in the garage and heard a child crying inside a black Dodge Journey when she got out of her car. Mahoney got a hospital security guard and they brought the baby into the hospital for her safety, according to the complaint.
Police heading to the parking garage encountered Nimmo, who said she was looking for her children, police said. Nimmo told officers she had gone in the hospital to have blood work done and left the baby in the care of her 13-year-old son, according to the complaint.
When told the baby had been taken into the hospital because she had been alone, Nimmo told police her son must have wandered off while she was inside, police said.
A review of surveillance footage showed Nimmo pulling into the garage at 7:36 a.m. and heading toward the hospital, according to police. Around 8 a.m., Nimmo returned to the car to get a cellphone and then returned to the hospital, police said.
The footage then showed Mahoney arriving in the garage shortly after 9 a.m., according to police.
“At no time did (police) observe on video anyone else walking away from the Dodge Journey,” the complaint says.
During further questioning, Nimmo told police her son, who attends Pittston Area Middle school, must have decided to walk to school, according to the complaint. Informed that her son was not on the video, Nimmo told police she “must have gotten the days mixed up,” the complaint says.
Pittston school officials told police Nimmo’s son arrived at school on time in a school bus, police said.
Police contacted Luzerne County Children and Youth caseworkers to take custody of the baby and place her with a responsible family member.
Police charged Nimmo with misdemeanor counts of child endangerment and reckless endangerment. Magisterial District Judge Michael G. Dotzel arraigned her on Thursday afternoon and released Nimmo on $25,000 unsecured bail.
A preliminary hearing was set for April 24.